Saturday, June 7, 2008

Churches Revealed!

Martin Luther once said concerning the book of Revelation, "If it is called Revelation, it should reveal something!" Of all the books in the Bible, this is arguably the most complicated and confusing book. Much of the imagery is dark and even a bit scary. Too often we have visions of dragons and angels fighting it out over the end of the world. Even though the point of the book is that the Jesus, the Lamb of God, is victorious and will save his Church, Revelation can be a very intimidating book.

But, did you know that Revelation, far from being a scary preview into the end times, is a letter written by St. John (the same disciple who wrote the Gospel of John, and I, II, and III John) to bring comfort and exhortation to seven first century churches? These churches were facing persecutions and attacks of all kinds. They were also facing internal struggles within their own congregations. John wrote to them because Jesus had revealed to John messages that he wanted these churches to hear.

Upon closer examination of these churches, we find that the struggles they faced are struggles that still plague the church today. As the author of Ecclesiastes says, there is nothing new under the sun. Heresies, temptations, persecutions, outside cultural influences trumping the mission of the Church, and on the list goes. The same old attacks they faced then, we face today. This summer, we are going to examine the letters to each of the churches. We won't be studying the whole book of Revelation, though we will certainly gain insights on how to study that book. For our purposes it will be sufficient to learn what Christ had to say to those seven churches in the face of their struggles and from this we will see what Christ has to say to us when we face similar situations.

Pastor Bob

Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email